If President Donald Trump would make a Fourth of July statement calling for everyone across the United States to wear a mask to help save lives, it could turn the corner of the rapidly spiraling coronavirus numbers, which reached 50,000 new cases early Thursday, according to Sen. Dick Durbin.
"Do you know what it would mean to America if the president of the United States today had a press conference and said, 'I'm reading these numbers. America is under attack from this virus' and then said I'm putting this mask on for the Fourth of July and calling for everybody across America to take this seriously?'" the Illinois senator said on CNN's "New Day." "That statement by the president would inspire people to put on masks and to protect others...he should step up at this point and say 'I'm putting all of my statements of the past aside. We have a serious problem. Let's fight it together.'"
In an interview on Wednesday, Trump did tell Fox Business that he's "okay" with masks and he joked that he thinks a mask makes him look like "the Lone Ranger," but Durbin said that's not what he's asking.
"The president should put that mask on and walk into the first meeting he has and let people know that this is going to be part of his normal routine as it should be for everyone who cares," said Durbin "We all should care, not just about our own health but the health of others around us. The president of the United States, unlike any other person, can lead us now in the comeback fight against this virus. I hope he has the courage and determination to do it."
Trump also said that he thinks that the virus will "disappear,' but Durbin said such hopes are "not a policy."
"What I want to know from you though is beyond masks, beyond wearing a mask in public, what can the federal government do now?" said Durbin. "Forget the rearview mirror. I understand the criticism, but we are where we are today? So what can the federal government do starting today to turn this around?"
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